New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long is the latest member of his football team to announce he will not be visiting President Donald Trump at the White House.
Long, who just wrapped his first season with the Patriots, revealed on Twitter that he was planning to skip his team’s visit to the White House, and stated that he had not yet been asked about whether or not he would attend.
The player’s tweet was a direct reference to the New York Daily News’ Chuck Modiano’s open letter to Long asking him to skip the honorary team visit to the White House.
While Long affirmed in his tweet his plans to not attend, as Modiano had asked, the player took umbrage with the tone of the journalist’s open letter.
According to NBC Sports, Long tweeted: “Oh Chuck. Planned on skipping, hadn’t been asked. Don’t need an open letter explaining my own words to me. Not *joining* anyone. My call.”
Long’s announcement follows those of fellow Patriots players Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower, who have signaled they will not be visiting the White House so long as Trump is president.
Despite emphasizing that he is not “joining” the other three players in boycotting the visit, but rather making his own decision not to go, his reason seems to be the same as the reasons of his teammates — they do not politically stand for the policies or presidency of Donald Trump.
However, unlike the other players who have turned down the invitation, Long is white and hails from a wealthy family with a father who is a football Hall of Famer and present-day TV commentator.
Modiano’s open letter dubbed the silence of white players regarding Trump as “pathetic,” and stated that Long’s background fits the profile of someone who may be a Trump supporter.
Long’s announcement that he will not be greeting President Trump is in line with his previous statements about race relations in the U.S., CBS Sports reports.
The four Patriots who announced their intentions to skip the traditional visit to the White House are not the first from the organization to do so. Tom Brady did not go to greet President Barack Obama two years ago, citing a family obligating kept him from doing so.
Sources: NBC Sports, CBS Sports / Photo credit: Jim Davis/Boston Globe